Gauche the Cellist is one of my favorite animated movies, and when I mentioned how much I loved the soundtrack, I was directed to the official soundtrack album released in Japan. And here it is...well, the photos from a recent Ebay auction, at least.
Michiyo Mamiya and his orchestra deliver a spectacular performance of Beethoven's "Pastorale" 6th Symphony. I still haven't found a better recording. I also love how director Isao Takahata breaks up Beethoven throughout the movie, weaving the music out of sequence, small segments, major movements. It's not the simple 1-2-3-4-5 progression; this isn't another Silly Symphonies direct interpretation, but treated as an equal character in the greater play.
This soundtrack LP is pretty rare, so if you find a copy, expect to spend a lot of money. The cover design features an original color illustration on the front, and a cast illustration on back. Numerous movie screenshots, and a full-size poster, are included in the package. Very impressive, overall. I just wish more copies were available, and that prices were a bit lower. Ah, well, it's all part of being a diehard collector, right?